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Saturday, August 29

“Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’”
Ps 3:2 NIV


Regardless of how badly you have failed or how often you have failed—God won’t give up on you. So don’t give up on yourself! Nothing you’ve done is beyond the scope of His grace. Others may give up on you, but not God. King David fell as low as a person can get. He was guilty of adultery, deception, and murder—all major-league offenses. But God forgave and restored him. He writes about it in two psalms. In the first psalm he writes: “Many are saying of me, God will not deliver him. But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side…From the Lord comes deliverance” (vv. 2-6, 8 NIV). In the next psalm he writes: “He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord” (Ps 40:1-3 NIV). And the God who turned David’s greatest mess into a message, and his greatest test into a testimony, will do the same for you when you turn to Him and receive His forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

Sunday, August 30

“He who heeds rebuke gets understanding.”
Pr 15:32 NKJV


In spite of his faults, flaws, and failures, God called David “a man after [my] own heart” (Ac 13:22). And one of the qualities that made David great was his willingness to acknowledge his mistakes. Here were two instances of it: (1) When fleeing the wrath of King Saul, he sought the help of a certain priest—a decision that caused Saul to order the death of eighty-five priests and their families. Devastated but not defensive, David told the surviving son of the slain priest who had assisted him, “I have caused the death of all your father’s family” (1Sa 22:22 NLT). Can you imagine taking responsibility for such a tragic consequence? (2) When the prophet Nathan confronted him about his affair with Bathsheba and his attempt to cover up her resulting pregnancy by having her husband killed, David acknowledged, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2Sa 12:13 NLT). Would you have the emotional and spiritual maturity to make such an admission? Or do you have a tendency to defend your actions for fear of being judged, criticized, or rejected? Do you sometimes feel attacked when someone offers feedback, whether it is positive or negative? Do you retreat in silence? Do you counter-accuse or blame your attacker? Do you make hostile comments? Do you become sarcastic? Making mistakes doesn’t make you a lesser person, but defending them does. Don’t let pride rob you of the wisdom that comes from acknowledging your mistakes and ultimately growing through them. “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.”